Beer, Sake & Rioja
BEER - So, this week we'll yonder up to the historic town of Fort bragg for some north coast brews: a red ale, a pilsner, Belgian ales, some stouts and barrel aged goodies. Come along.
RIOJA is in north-central Spain on the Ebro River. Wines of Rioja are a great blend of ripe fruit and earthy flavors—they have one foot in the New World and one foot in the Old World. In Rioja, Tempranillo grapes can be blended with Mazuelo, Graciano, Garnacha, and Maturana Tinta. The law also leaves a little room for winemakers to add non-traditional grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon in small proportions. Classic examples will combine ripe plum and dried prune flavors with hints of leather and sweet-and-sour sauce.
Rioja went above and beyond Spanish laws and added some time to their minimum aging requirements. And often, winemakers allow the wines to age for years beyond what is required by Rioja.
SAKE Though English-speaking countries often refer to saké as "rice wine," that's a misnomer. Rice wine is made from the fermentation of rice, while Western wines are made of the fermentation of grapes. Saké is made from rice, but through a brewing process that converts starch to alcohol, similar to the way that beer is made.